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This is apropos a Business Recorder op-ed “Water conflicts” carried by the newspaper on Tuesday. The writer has argued, among other things, that “The prospects appear grim, needing the declaration of a fair and equitable water management policy that sheds provincial blinkers and begins to see the country’s and its people’s interests as a whole, irrespective of location. Otherwise we cannot rule out deaths by drought (Quetta is currently literally without even drinking water), drying lakes and rivers, further lowering of the already perilously receding water table, wastage of water, lack of storages, population growth and climate change converging to produce a catastrophe in the future.”

That there exists trust deficit among provinces is a fact that has found its best expression from regulator Irsa’s request to Wapda through which it has sought the appointment of ‘independent’ inspectors at nine different points with a view to monitoring of water flows in order to ensure judicious distribution of water among provinces. Fortunately, the increased water flows in rivers in last two days have helped Irsa raise provinces’ shares accordingly. But this is hardly any solution. The country, in fact, needs a long-term fair and equitable water management policy.

Khalid Inam (Islamabad)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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